The Scientific and Cultural Programme

As the first universal museum outside the western world, the Louvre Abu Dhabi inaugurates in the Arab world a cultural institution born in Enlightenment Europe. Its values and identity are based on the concepts of discovery, exchanges and education which are sustained within the unique alliance between the greatest museum in the world and modern Arabia.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi’s scientific and cultural programme provides the future museum’s intellectual and conceptual backbone. It encapsulates this exchange in an original museographic approach honed to showcase and nurture dialogue between art from different civilisations and cultures around the world, stretching from the most remotely immemorial to the very latest. Overstepping boundaries between art forms and techniques, and between civilisations and geographic regions, to cast light on the underlying exchanges as much as each one’s distinctive wealth captures something about Abu Dhabi’s multicultural ethos and Arabia’s millenary role as a bridge between the West and East, and between the North and South, as it was in the days of the Incense Route, and as the Persian Gulf served as a link between Europe and the Indian Ocean opening up exchanges between Asia and Africa.

The goal is to give visitors the bearings they need to understand how art developed in each civilisation (the West, Arabic and Muslim world, and Asia, as well as Africa, the Americas and Australasia). The Louvre Abu Dhabi also develops a deliberately comparative approach in a concentrated display encompassing a few hundred relevant and revealing works in an area that is small enough to encapsulate the full message in one visit.

The scientific and cultural programme also takes an essential look at issues touching on human as much as audiovisual mediation and interpretation in the museum experience, which will be used to escort and guide visitors from around the world during their experience. A museum for children, comprising an autonomous exhibition gallery and workshops, will complete the experience. In this way, the programme will strive to build the Enlightenment’s invitation to look at works with a sensitive and educated eye, with a view to studying them, comparing them and delighting in their invariably singular meaning.

In constructing its universal subject matter on the principles set by the intergovernmental agreement of March 2007, the scientific and cultural programme highlights the richness of French public collections collections in a dialogue with the Louvre Abu Dhabi own collection. The temporary-exhibition programme will be devised at the same time as the scientific and cultural programme and will amplify the message in the museum’s galleries, by inviting the collections of the entire world to contribute to original events, which will be likely to circulate around the major international museum institutions.

For more information about the Louvre Abu Dhabi Collection, two publications are available:


A chronological history of art that assembles masterpieces from all artistic disciplines around the globe and throughout the ages. This book -the first to be dedicated to the museum’s collection- allows the reader to discover the universal spirit that permeates and incarnates the birth of this new museum. The growing collection, presented here for the first time, best captures and expresses the essence and spirit of the museum itself. These 300 works, reproduced in exceptional photographs commissioned for the publication, open a dialogue between the diverse world cultures and their artistic expressions.

Number of pages : 319
Publication date : April 2013
Publishers : Skira Flammarion, Louvre Museum’s Publication
In French, English, Arabic


This album was published for the exhibition Louvre Abu Dhabi. Birth of a museum at Musée du Louvre in Paris, 2 May - 28 July 2014.

Number of pages : 56
Publication date : April 2014
Publishers : Les éditions Musée du Louvre, Flammarion
In French, English, Arabic.